On one hand, Scala is a concise as well as the powerful alternative of Java, while, on the other hand, Kotlin is a JVM based language that is new, modern and easier.
It is a tough decision for Java developers what to choose among the two because of the neck to neck competition that the two languages hold. Both languages have the common aim of the betterment of Java in their specific ways and are greatly used by various companies and Android app development services.
Kotlin was introduced by JetBrains and was launched in the month of February in the year 2012 and is an open-source and freely available language. Until now, Kotlin has released two versions of itself among which Kotlin 1.2 is considered to be the most stable version which was released in the month of November in the year 2017. Soon after its release, Kotlin gained massive popularity because it was compatible with Java 6 (present stable version of Java on Android).
Additionally, Kotlin is comprised of some interesting features of Java 8 which cannot be accessed by Android developers on Java 6 versions. The major advantage of Kotlin is its seamless and flawless interoperability with Java. This means Java code can be called from Kotlin and vice versa without any complications or problems in the code. With the development of Kotlin, app development for Android has become a non-NPE experience. Google has also adopted Kotlin on Android as an officially supported language.
Scala was launched in the year 2004 by Martin Odersky. Scala was initially launched as a general-purpose programming language on the Java platform. Scala has been named after the word “scalable” by the developers. The main aim of the development of this language to make it more and more scalable so that it can satisfy the needs and requirements of its users. Scala has now become a mature language for usage and offers many benefits such as concise code, higher-order functions, OOP style, and interoperability.
Comparison between Kotlin and Scala
There are many points which can be discussed to figure out what language is most suitable for Java developers which have been discussed below :
1.Pattern matching :
Pattern matching is weak in Kotlin as compared to Scala. Kotlin does not fully support this function. Pattern matching can only be done properly with the help of the ‘when’ clause. There are chances of errors and less functionality in pattern matching in Kotlin.
2.Runtime size :
If the applications made are large and the lines of code are long then an extra runtime charge of 800 KB will be occupied which may prove fatal to the CPU and memory. It can result in a large number of downloads because of the huge size of the application made. It slows down the working of the system and leads to time consumption, memory occupancy and cost consumption ( more and more RAM is required) which can prove hazardous.
As far as Scala is concerned, it consumes much memory while operating with large applications, even then it is comparatively less than that of Kotlin. Also, the runtime size is lesser and it also saves some amount of time and money.
3.Readability of code :
The code of Kotlin is small. This is the reason why the readability of code is a little difficult for Java development services. With such a small code, many developers are not able to read as well as understand the code at first glance easily. Also, it may get tougher for beginners. This kind of code also leads to difficulty in sharing code with other fellow developers because it is hard to understand and implement in less amount of time. Scala has detailed programs with more lines of code which makes it easier for beginners to understand and implement. It also helps to detect errors easily.
4.Support community :
Kotlin is relatively newer than Scala because of which it has fewer libraries, blogs, and tutorials. Also, the support community online is small and there is very little documentation available on the internet. But with the coming years, this problem may overcome with Kotlin’s popularity and usage.
5.Compilation code :
Speed is the primary need of any programming language. Scala has a minute level compilation time while on the other hand, Kotlin can compile any code in seconds and display the errors if any. Kotlin has a compiling speed as Java which is a plus point in the case of coding.
6.Management of null safety :
Scala has opted for several measures for the management of null safety but still fails to provide efficiency in the same. The ‘option’ keyword is used as an alternative for null safety in Scala. But using this keyword can result in an NPE after compilation of the code. Kotlin has better management of null safety as compared to the previous one.
7.Binary compilation :
Scala becomes incompatible when it comes to binary compilation. It also becomes difficult and there is very little chance that the compiled code will work with higher versions of Scala which is very problematic to the programmers. The binary compilation is not so challenging in Kotlin because it is new and highly compatible. Also, only two versions have been released which makes this feature uncertain in this programming language too.
Scala and Kotlin, both are very tough to choose from. Kotlin can be described as a better version of Java while on the other hand, Scala is a whole different kind of Java. Kotlin is easy for beginners and has a simpler code while Scala has the ultimate support for advanced functional programming. Choosing what programming language to use totally depends upon the kind of programming the developer is trying to do or the cause/need for usage of that language.
Wrapping it up
While Scala is suitable for projects which combine both functional and OOP style programming languages and it also fits best for handling a large amount of data or modeling of complex data and data which include mathematics. However, if the Java development company aims to lessen the complexity and redundancy of Java, it is preferable to go for Kotlin. Kotlin is extremely beneficial for Android application development companies and can be considered as the best choice.